From the LA Times:
At a time when illegal immigration has returned to the political spotlight, figures released Wednesday show a sharp decline in the number of undocumented migrants crossing the U.S. border, in what researchers are calling the "first significant reversal" in 20 years. The total number of illegal immigrants living in the U.S. dropped to 11.1 million in 2009, down from a peak of 12 million in 2007, according to estimates by the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan Washington-based group that studies the nation's Latino population. The report echoes the findings of a study released in February by the Department of Homeland Security. About 300,000 illegal immigrants entered the U.S. each year from 2007 to 2009, down from the roughly 850,000 that entered annually from 2000 to 2005, according to the Pew report.... Experts say there are a variety of reasons for the slowdown, including the recession and increased border enforcement. The economy is the biggest driver for illegal immigration, said Frank Bean, director of UC Irvine's Center for Research on Immigration, Population and Public Policy. In the economic downturn, jobs are harder to come by, Bean said, particularly in construction. "Those jobs have disappeared and have mostly stayed gone," he said. But Bean said he did not expect the downward trend to continue once the economy rebounds. "The same reason for illegal immigrants to come to the U.S. has always been there: the need for work," he said. "As soon as work is available again, people will start coming again."

Also ran in:

  •     Bend Bulletin
  •     Chicago Tribune
  •     Contra Costa Times
  •     Hartford Courant
  •     Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  •     Seattle Times
  •     Statesman
  •     WDBJ 7

For the full story, please visit http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-immigration-20100902,0,2020268.story.

 

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